FAITH HARPER, firstname.lastname@example.org
Precinct 1 Constable Henry Phillip Jackson pleaded guilty to four counts of federal tax evasion charges.
Jackson, 65, admitted to willful failure to file federal income tax returns Tuesday in U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell's court, according to a news release issued by the Eastern District Court of Texas.
Jackson has served as a constable in Smith county since 1999, according to the court.
Jackson was not formally indicted, rather pleaded to information, said Public Information Officer Davilyn Wilson. That means he was presented with the information and decided to plead, instead of taking it the grand jury. Ms. Wilson said the method would not affect the outcome of the case.
Jackson received income from 2010 to 2013 that required him to file federal income tax returns for those years. Jackson failed to file those returns and now owes more than $160,000 in taxes, according to the news release.
Under federal statutes, Jackson could face up to a year in federal prison for each count at sentencing.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of an investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan.
In May 2008, Jackson was charged with seven felonies and three misdemeanors in Smith County.
The charges included seven second-degree felony counts of tampering with a governmental record as well as with three misdemeanor counts of official oppression for alleged sexual harassment.
In the end, Jackson was offered a plea deal where he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors, a Class A and Class C, and was sentenced to six months deferred adjudication probation. Following the probation, the Class A was to be dropped from Jackson’s record.
He served no time in jail for the two charges and paid a $100 fine and $1,400 in restitution. He also agreed to a six-month probated suspension of his peace officer license in 2010, before going on to win re-election.
The deal was made under Judge Randall Rogers in the Smith County Court at Law No. 2, according to newspaper archives.
The felony charges, pleaded down to a single misdemeanor, stemmed from alleged false filings made by Jackson regarding his private security company, Fail Safe Security Agency.
According to the indictments, Jackson made false entries about when security officers were hired. The officers had worked for months or even up to a year in some cases before their recorded hire dates, the documents show.
Investigators said deputy constables employed by Jackson's private security firm were wearing their constable uniforms while working for the security company and not the county. They believed Jackson was being paid by the county for the deputies who were already being paid for by the business where they were working security.